Is your spending on CX helping or hindering?

Customer Experience

Is your spending on CX helping or hindering?

Ray Poynter
Ray Poynter
August 17, 2023
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In a recent post on Customer Think, I showed that customer satisfaction has been falling in recent years, even though spending on CX has been booming. The clear implication of this trend is that spending more on CX programs is not necessarily helping your brand, nor your customers. Indeed, your CX program could be hindering the customer experience, especially in these inflationary times.

How can spending money on a CX program be hindering the customer experiences you are creating? There are four key reasons:


1)    Compliance.
Too many CX programs measure and reward compliance. Compliance focuses on whether frontline staff are delivering the service in line with the specified approach. However, this fails to recognize that different customers may want different things. Additionally, most compliance regimes were created before the rise in inflation (and some of them before the pandemic). Pushing frontline staff to deliver yesterday's answers to today’s problems is a recipe for failure.

2)    Dashboard Blindness.
Whilst dashboards are a fantastic way to get a sense of some key metrics, they can suffer from two key issues. The first is that they encourage organizations to think of ‘the average customer’, rather than focusing on the differing needs that customers have. The second is that too many dashboards report too many irrelevant measures.

3)    Fixing problems instead of avoiding them.
Most CX programs focus on generating alerts ie. problems that need fixing. While fixing problems is great for those customers who had a problem and alerted you to it via the CX program, it does nothing for all those customers who had a problem but didn’t let you know about it. The right solution is to thematically monitor problems, then engage in business process re-engineering to stop these problems from happening.

4)    Measurement instead of Action
The single biggest problem, in terms of the failure to link CX programs to increased revenue or satisfaction, is that too many CX programs are simply measurement tools. Your CX program needs to feed into strategic thinking and into the creation of better processes and experiences. To focus on action, the CX program needs to be integrated with other programs (such as communities), and it needs to feed into strategic management.


How do you fix the problem?

The first step is to assess whether you have a problem. Is your current CX program more than two-years old? If yes, you might want to test the market?

Have your CSAT or NPS scores been plateauing or falling (eg. comparing now with before the pandemic)? If yes, you need to re-think your CX program and definitely test the market for new solutions.

Has your spending on CX programs been increasing, perhaps because of bloat? If yes, then look at platforms using new technology, which might be able to reduce your costs as well as deliver a better solution (where ‘better’ means helping improve customer experiences and the bottom line.)

Finally, is your CX program helping your people do a better job? A good CX program is going to be seen as easy to use, relevant, and efficient. If your people are not turning to the CX program to help create better experiences, it needs changing.

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